Archive for the ‘food destinaltion’ Category
It’s been quite some time since I have last posted. Not much has changed in my life. I still work too hard, too long and too much. I am not sure if it is a blessing or a curse but it sustains me.
I have always considered myself a “casual” gardener. To me this means that I plant it, if it grows great, if it doesn’t no biggie.
I decided to take a walk in the yard this morning as a measure of relaxation.Just to see what was growing. I was pleasantly surprised.
Years ago, when I first moved into my house, I planted oregano. Now 20 years later It still grows!! I use it in marinades for steak and chicken. The neighbors must think I am crazy as they watch me pick what some have described as “lawn clippings”. If they only new!!!
I love fresh dill in the spring. It is mandatory for my new potato salad. I was happy to find that it still grows,wild, all around my yard.
Something I can’t take credit for is the mint that grows in the yard it was here when I moved in.
Last, but not least, I got a gift this year (courtesy of the birds I think). A wild raspberry bush popped up this year along the fence line. I am planning on making good use of these.
I found all of this in my tiny (yes tiny ) yard. Take a walk let me know what is growing in your yard!
It’s been a long time since my last post. I apologize. I am feeling it’s time to get back to my second passion,writing!.
Since my last post I was able to make a trip back to my second home (Ocracoke Island N.C.). To those not acquainted this is a barrier island on the outer banks of North Carolina where I spent vacations as a child and have visited each year for the last decade. While we have always rented a house (my buddy and
I). The last couple of time I chose to come down to the island early. The house we rented would not be available until Sunday but I chose to leave Thursday afternoon. Fifteen hour in the car later I Caught the ferry leaving the workaday world behind.
While I am not, generally, a rustic person I have camped on the island,a couple of days, for the last 2 years.
Home for a couple of days The View from the backyard Bluefin
This last year I found myself hanging out at the campground feeling hungry and called a takeout order in to ( what I believe is) the only Thai restaurant on the outer banks. My thought process was that the seafood would be absolutely fresh as almost everything served on the island comes from day boats. I chose the Penang Curry with shrimp. It was everything I expected. Sweet and spicy with the freshest shrimp available and served over rice. I decided that I would have to recreate the dish when I got back to Detroit.
Trying to catch Dinner! Me (left) and Steve(right)(2004)
I had most of the ingredients I need to reinvent this dish. I always have Pankow Breadcrumbs and and have had Java Curry Cubes in my freezer for some time. The plan is to bread the chicken in Pankow and Coconut and serve it with a Penang Curry Sauce over stir fried Rice Noodles.
Coconut Crusted Chicken with Stir Fried Rice Noodles in a Penang Curry Sauce
2 4 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 cup Pankow Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 egg + 1 cup Milk (or water)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Rice Noodles (wide)
1 can Coconut Milk
1/2 Square Java Curry Paste (available in Asian groceries)
1/2 cup Bean Sprout
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup Cilantro (freshly Chopped)
Combine Coconut and Panko and reserve
Wisk milk/water with flour to create a batter.
Dip Chicken in the batter (draining excess) and dredge in the Coconut/Panko blend using the standard breading procedure rules ( in an earlier post)
Set aside for at least 10 minute so the Breading will set.
In a separate pan combine the Coconut Milk with the Curry paste. Bring to a boil and wisk until combines. Keep warm for service.
Cook Rice noodles according to direction and shock (stop cooking )in cold water.
Fry/Sauté breaded chicken in vegetable oil until a golden brown color is achieved. Finish in a 350 degree oven until internal temp is 165 degrees.
Stir fry Rice noodles.bean sprouts and peanuts in a little of the vegetable oil until warm.
Add1/4 of the curry/coconut mix and toss. Add cilantro and toss again.
Place a portion of the rice Noodles on a plate and arrange slice chicken around it.
Drizzle with remaining sauce.
Panko is readily available in most supermarkets.
The Java Curry paste I used was from a Japanese grocery. It works well with this application. A Red or Green Curry sauce might not work as well in this S.E. Asian preparation.
The egg/milk/ flour combo is a Japanese take on Standard Breading Procedure. By creating a batter they eliminate a step.
Notes: Ocracoke Island
Ocracoke Island has it’s own dialect which, if you listen carefully, you will hear spoken by the Island residents! It’s been in use since the island was settled in the 1700’s.
Hoi Toide = High Tide
Dim witter= dumb ***
Until the 1960’s wild ponies had the run of the island and the local boy scout troop were the only “mounted” unit of the Boy Scouts due to the fact that they captured and trained the wild ponies. Due to progress they have since been corralled and remain an Island feature.
If visiting don’t miss picking up a jar of the local fig preserves. Figs grow wild on the island but also look for the Apple trees which have been growing on the island for hundreds of years. In recent years I have found Prickly Pear Cactus growing as well.
I also recently found, what I think is, the worlds largest rosemary plant growing there. It was in somebody’s front yard!
In addition to being a fisherman’s paradise there is also clamming and crabbing available.
In my last post I alluded to my new position.I wanted bring you up to date with my current status. I am currently in Grand Rapids Michigan. I am living on-site and ( doing what I do) creating/implementing first rate dining services programs. I do return to my house in Detroit weekly.
For the last 2 weeks I have enjoyed the Downtown Blues Festival in Grand Rapids Little Ed was the first week and Duke Robilard appeared last week. This week it was Janiva Magness.
Last week we had our first Al Fresco Dining event and it went very well. We had literally twice our usual number participants joined us.We will be doing this weekly as long as the weather allows. Our resident love what we are doing!! We have a wonderful Chef Manager who has a great relationship with our residents.
I am taking a day off but wanted to stay in touch
Michigan has great small cities. Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint and Grand Rapids each host an variety of cultural events.
My favorite meals lately has been steak with grilled romaine lettuce. I top the lettuce with an herb vinaigrette ( herbs from my garden) and Maytag Blue Cheese, as well as marinating the steak in fresh herbs from my garden. I am fortunate to have a butcher shop in my neighborhood and they will cut steaks to my specifications. I prefer to have my steaks cut to about 2 # and grill/roast when cooking.
The Romaine lettuce I drizzle with the vinaigrette after I have topped it with the cheese and slice the steak thin.
The results are spectacular!!!
Every community has anchors. These are businesses that, in spite of economic difficulties stay the course due to the ties they have to their communities. In Mexicantown Honeybee market is one such anchor.
Started by Geraldo Alfaro in 1956 and passed on to third generation family, Honeybee is also call “La Colmena” which means “the hive where the bees gather”.
In a city devoid of major supermarket chains Honeybee has quietly grown from a neighborhood grocery and bodega to become a major food destination, not only for local residents, but for suburbanites, too. In addition to a fully stocked meat and seafood counter Honeybee has a hot foods counter with Mexican specialties. Honeybee also has a great produce section carrying the freshest produce in the city. In addition to the basics Honeybee carries the freshest chilies(I counted 7 varieties), Cactus, Tomatillos, Chayote, Guava…well I could go on and on.
When you enter Honeybee you are greeted by samples. Freshly made salsas and guacamole are offered along with crisp tortilla chips to entice you. Ever wonder about that fruit and if its really ripe? No problem! I found many produce items with a sample cut open so you could see what was inside the skin. Freshness never seemed better!
In the seafood counter was shrimp, fresh fish and octopus for the asking and all cuts of meat, as well as, regional specialties such as tripe and tongue. The prices were on par, if not better than, any supermarket in the suburbs.
I mentioned the hot foods counter earlier. When I stopped by there was quite a line. Tacos, Tamales, Barbacoa (BBQ) were on the menu. On Saturday and Sunday the have a specialty that I think is unique to Honeybee. Although it is a Latin American specialty I don’t believe steamed cow’s head is offered any place else in Detroit. If you don’t believe me watch the travel channel to hear how good the meat from the head can be. Anthony (Bourdain) and Andrew (Zimmern) will tell you!!
Honeybee Market is open Monday through Saturday (8 AM – 8 PM) and Sunday (8AM-6 PM)
Honeybee Market – La Colmena
Detroit, Mi 48216